Apprentice Blog: Week 2: Don’t pitch yourself up to fail

Apprentice Blog: Week 2:  Don’t pitch yourself up to fail

The second task in what Lord Sugar ominously calls “the process” was about designing a comic. The grizzled entrepreneur spots opportunities few can see the need for, which is probably why he developed the email phone. But a tablet compatible comic to keep kids laughing and (hopefully learning), was potentially worth millions. The teams were briefed by a scary avatar of the man himself, and went off on their way.
This time Khadija stepped up to lead the women. The first thing to congratulate Khadija on is that she is no shrinking violet, confident and driven as I have seen. But she is also bombastic, domineering and unwilling to listen. Though Kadijah’s team won, her management style was awful bordering on dictatorial. So much so, that Lord Sugar described her as “a bit like Kim Jong un”. Kadijah confessed to not knowing who North Koreas’ dictator was; but the murderous stare she gave her team mate made me think she might see KJU a as a role model along with her declared worship of Richard Branson. In Khadija’s defence last week’s women were uncoordinated and were undermined by the sly dissent of Jackie. Clearly Kadijah thought the team needed discipline and she imposed it and then some. More on that later.

The men (really boys) started off with a classic skills fail. Frank said that he was a marketing person and therefore creative. He could have been but clearly wasn’t. The concept of Benji the space boy superhero was as tired as his audition statements about “pushing boundaries with his humour.” David (the cuddly bear), a tax accountant had a secret creative life where he wrote fantasy stories and thought he should be the stories man. He wasn’t. Kurran the actor with the flowing locks and sharp suits, thought he should do the augmented reality because ‘you see I’m an actor’. He couldn’t (act). All three thought they could do the pitch, mainly because they wanted the limelight. They couldn’t. Frank was hesitant and half baked, Kurran was so wooden and lacking in fluidity that he made David look good. That is, till David cheerfully outlined all the shortcomings of their efforts before an amazed room full of buyers. Kajode was used to too sparingly, he may have been awful as well but he was not given the chance to prove it.

Jackie showed skill here and was able to pitch to a major retailer and win a mega order. However she quickly made it clear that it was all about her. Neither Khadija nor Jackie or Frank and Korren can be that confident as the game develops. They have put down big markers about themselves and others will have taken note. David put out a marker that he was no “cuddly bear”, unfortunately when Lord Sugar brought them in Frank and Kurran managed to slink back to house and the cuddly bear was stuffed. Frank should have been fired. He was weak, rubbish at most things he said he was good at and I suppose I would rather have been led by Khadijah than him which is not a good thing!

Who would you have fired?
Who was skilful?
Who showed a skill fail?